The two-day NCAA Championships held at the University of Arkansas' Randal Tyson Indoor Center concluded on Saturday with another collegiate record, several outstanding performances by athletes who were expected to star in front of their collegiate peers, and performances by others who stepped up and made names for themselves as they chased legends from the past - and those attempting to be legendary.
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If the fireworks produced by the break-neck competitions on Friday weren't enough for track and field-crazed fans watching the live streaming broadcast, following the live blog Trackshark.com was feeding or reading the results on this site, Saturday would put an exclamation point on a very good week-end of eye-popping competition and a sense of personal despair for those expected to win, but didn't.
Friday's competition concluded with two new collegiate records along with a World Junior Record, with Arizona State's Ryan Whiting removing a 21-year-old shot put record from the books, and Bianca Knight obliterating the world junior, NCAA and her school record in the 200m in a race which saw the first three athletes across the line run faster than the previous world best at the distance.
Saturday's offering picked right up where the previous evening had left off, namely with a collegiate record, a near-record, certain athletes defending their coveted national titles and another heavy favourite coming up short in their specialty.
Arizona State's Jacquelin Johnson, trailing the University of Michigan's Bettie Wade by 17 points at the conclusion of the third event in the pentathlon - the shot put, had a huge upswing in the long jump and 800m, and concluded her single-day competition with a new NCAA Indoor record, scoring 4496 points to eclipse Austra Skujuté's six-year-old NCAA mark set in Manhattan, Kansas.
Johnson, the reigning indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon champion - and 2008 national leader heading into the championships at 4312 points, ran a very solid 800m race to remove Sjujuté, who competed at last week-end's IAAF World Indoor Championships, from the top of the indoor totem pole by 51 points.
Stanford's Erica McLain nearly toppled Sheila Hudson's American record in the triple jump, falling 3cm short of tying the mark the former CAL standout set 13 years ago, jumping 14.20m to win her event by 38cm over Kimberly Williams (Florida State).
Scott Sellers, who has shown incredible promise as a high jumpers since his grade-10 in high school, had not yet found the winning strategy or had the extra stroke of luck indoors during his first two seasons, finishing in ninth (2.19m) two years ago and third last season (2.22m).
Sellers would again come up empty-handed in Arkansas, taking silver on Saturday afternoon to Nebraska's Dusty Jonas, who cleared a lifetime best of 2.31m in improving his lifetime best by 5cm and, for the second-consecutive season, finishing one spot higher than Sellers.
Jonas' mark is also the highest any Cornhusker has ever jumped indoors or outdoors in school history.
Arkansas team captain Nkozinzu Balumbu, third in the NCAA indoor triple jump last season, and third on the 2008 list-leaders, came through with the biggest performance of his life, jumping 16.54m in the second flight to win his first NCAA indoor title.
Oklahoman Tydree Lewis led the first flight with a 16.52m effort - a mark which Balumbu beat on his first-round jump in the second flight and secured himself the victory.
Competing in Arkansas is about the middle distances as much as it is for the sprints on the fabled track, and Texan Leonel Manzano, previewed on this site two days ago, came up with his second-consecutive NCAA mile title on Saturday.
Manzano won a slow, yet highly tactical race against good kickers, in 4.04,45 to lead teammate Jake Morse (4.04,88) to a 1-2 finish and provide Texas 18 important points in the team competition, in which Texas finished with third - its highest ever indoors.
The Arizona State Sun Devils won the team competition for the first time indoors to compliment the women's team, which won their second-consecutive title. The sweep atop the school standings was the second in NCAA history following LSU's feat in 2003. LSU's women, who finished second to ASU in 2007, finished behind the Sun Devils again this season, 51-43.
LSU athletes swept the top-2 spots in the men's 60m dash, with senior Richard Thompson (6,51) holding off sophomore teammate and football star Trindon Holliday, second in 6,54. Clemson's Travis Padget, the 2007 champion (6,56), had to settle for bronze this time around, sprinting to a time of 6,60 seconds.
The stadium was buzzing with excitement as Thompson won his preliminary heat in 6,51 seconds, tying the world lead heading into the final.
Thompson wasn't the only LSU star on the podium on Saturday, however, as Kelly-Ann Baptiste won a virtual dead-heat with Texas' Alexandria Anderson, clocking 7,17 seconds to follow Thompson's victory and become part of the first duo in the history of the NCAA Indoor Championships to win 60m titles from the same university.
Both Thompson and Baptiste became first-time NCAA indoor champions in the process.
LSU added a third national champion to its merit list on Saturday when sophomore LaTavia Thompson pulled through for the Lady Tigers to win the women's 800m run, clocking 2.05,07. Cal's Alysia Johnson, the 2007 NCAA Indoor Champion, finished second (2.05,47).
The NCAA Indoor Championships is about celebrating victory as much as chasing the harmony between mind and body, and Florida State's Susan Kuijken broke through two barriers simultaneously in the 3.000m, winning her first national indoor title and stopping the clock under the nine-minute barrier (8.58,14).
Kuijken had earlier lost her two-week-old school mile record (4.36,31) to teammate Hannah England, who blasted a final lap segment of 29,99 to score victory over national-leader Nicole Edwards, 4.35,30 to 4.35,74. Tennessee's Sarah Bowman grabbed the bronze in the mile, running 4.36,00.
Liberty senior Josh McDougal was not as fortunate in his rebound attempt from a hard 5.000m contested on Friday evening, placing sixth in another tactical middle distance race - one which Arizona's Kyle Alcorn was able to steal from the milers in 8.00,82.
Montana State's Ellie Rudy had only one miss through four jumps leading up to 4.30m in the pole vault, and took her second-consecutive national indoor title, clearing the same height she won at in 2007. Arizona State's April Kubishta also cleared 4.30m, but won the silver on misses.
When one thinks of 4x400m racing, Baylor University often comes to mind - and for good measure. Baylor won its third-consecutive relay title on Saturday, with a quartet consisting of Trey Harts (47,1), Marcus Boyd (46,8), Justin Boyd (46,5) and LeJerald Betters (45,3) crossing the line in a fine 3.05,66.
Baylor did not have any athletes in the men's 400m dash, but that did not stop Oral Roberts' Andretti Bain from running the fastest time of the evening, 46,19, in the second section to claim national honours.
Krista Simkins (Miami) captured the women's 400m dash in 52,16.
NCAA Indoor Championships=============================================
Randal Tyson Indoor
2008-March-15 - Saturday Results
(2007 Medal Winners in parenthesis)
11.00 Men's Heptathlon Final
Gold: Gonzalo Barroilhet, Florida State, 5951; Silver: Josh Hustedt, Stanford, 5836; Bronze: Mike Morrison, Florida, 5792
Florida's Gonzalo Barroilhet entered Saturday's competition with a 42-point lead over Tennessee's Jangy Addy, compiling a first-day total of 3265 following an afternoon in which the 21-year-old Chilean senior national decathlon record-holder (7504 points) set personal records in three of the first four events contested.
Barroilhet was able to capitalise on a good night's rest and increase his margin over his competitors to 115 points by the time he finished the 1.000m run on Saturday afternoon, finishing with 5951 points to secure the NCAA title in his first season at the collegiate level.
None of the national leaders heading into the competition were able to medal in the event, as Addy, third on the national list heading into the competition -- and second after the first day's competition, finished in fourth.
NCAA Record: 6208 (A), Trey Hardee,
, 2005) Texas
2008 Leaders: 1. Cepeda, UNI, 5906; 2.
, 5859; 3. Jangy Addy, Eaton, Oregon , 5836 Tennessee
(2007 Gold: Donovan Martin,
, 5998; Silver: Jake Arnold, Texas , 5909; Bronze: Raven Cepeda, Arizona Northern Iowa, 5864)
11.30 Women's Pentathlon Final
Gold: Jacquelin Johnson, Arizona State, 4496 (CR); Silver: Bettie Wade, Michigan, 4366; Bronze: Shevell Quinley, Arizona, 4256
Jacquelin Johnson won her sixth career NCAA title by picking up her third-consecutive pentathlon victory at the NCAA Indoor Championships - the first time a female has won thre straight pentathlon titles as well as just the ninth time in NCAA history a female athlete has won the same event in her career.
"I was confident going in. I had a little bit of déjà vu, because last year I had to win by three seconds or more in the 800-meter," she stated.
"I knew I could do it; it was just a matter of actually going out there and accomplishing it. I wasn't really thinking of winning for the third year in a row, I was more focused on beating the record (meet and collegiate)."(Old NCAA record: 4425,
State, 2002) Austra Skujyté, Kansas
2008 Leaders: 1. Johnson,
Arizona St., 4312; 2. , 4218; 3. Roehrig, Minnesota , 4125 Quinley, Arizona
(2007 Gold: Jacquelyn Johnson,
, 4393; Silver: Diana Pickler, Arizona State , 4339; Bronze: Melissa Talbort, Washington State , 4225) Wisconsin
16.00 Men's 35-lb. Weight-throw Pre / FinalGold: Egor Agafonov, Kansas, 22.71m; Silver: Jake Dunkleberger, Auburn, 22,24m; Bronze: Walter Henning, North Carolina, 22,02m.
Kansas State's Egor Agofanov, the 2008 national leader (22,67m), defended his national title in the 35-pound weight throw, heaving the implement 22.71m to hold Jake Dunkleberger at bay.
Agofanov, the NCAA 2007 Outdoor fourth-place finisher in the hammer throw, concludes his Jayhawk indoor career with two national titles and a runner-up placing (2006).
(NCAA Record: 25.08m, Kibwe Johnson,
, 2007) Ashland
2008 Leaders: 1. Agafonov, Kansas, 22.67m; 2. Rohr, Missouri, 22.42m; 3. Shanklin, Wyoming, 21.90m
(2007 Gold: Egor Agafonov, Kansas
, 23.60m; Silver: Cory Martin, Auburn, 23.27m; Bronze: Nick Owens, North Carolina, 21.71m)
16.30 Women's Shot Put Pre / Final
Gold: Mariam Kevkhishvili, Florida, 17.83m; Silver: Sarah Stevens, Arizona State, 17.64m; Bronze: Patience Knight, Texas Tech, 17.27m
Florida sophomore Kevkhishvili, second on the NCAA performance chart at 17.44m, unleashed a terrific second-round throw of 17.83m - a Florida school record - to take a lead she would not relinquish on the evening.
Stevens, the 2007 indoor champion, was unable to get in a throw of merit, fouling on four-straight attempts before landing the shot 17.64m on her sixth - and final - throw of the evening.
Knight threw 17.27m on both her fourth- and fifth-round efforts to secure the bronze medal.
Tennessee's Annie Alexander, third on the national list (17.42m), failed to make the final. “Mariam deserves everything that she got today,” Florida throws coach Steve Lemke said on the Florida Gators website.
“She’d been throwing great in practice all week and we felt like she was bound for great things today. She beat a really good field and did something that no one at Florida had ever done, so this was a special moment for Mariam.”
(NCAA Record: 19.15m, Laura Gerraughty,
, 2004) North Carolina
2008 Leaders: 1. Stevens, Arizona St., 17.78m; 2. Kevkhishvili, Florida, 17.44m; 3. Alexander, Tennessee, 17.42m
(2007 Gold: Sarah Stevens, 18.16m; Silver: Michelle Carter,
, 18.12m; Bronze: Abigail Ruston, Texas , 16.61m) Texas State
16.45 Men's High Jump Final
Gold: Dusty Jonas, Nebraska, 2.31m; Silver: Scott Sellers, Kansas State, 2.25m; Bronze: Ehi Oamen, Northern Iowa, 2.19m
Much of the talk during these championships was, "How high will Scott Sellers jump?" Sellers had improved on the year to a lifetime indoor best 2.29m, and was the 2007 NCAA Outdoor champion in this event.
What many folks were not counting on was Jonas improving his lifetime best by 6cm and finding the form of his career in clearing 2.09m, 2.14m, 2.19m, 2.22m, 2.25m and 2.28m on his first attempts - a series Sellers was able to match up to a first-attempt miss at 2.22m followed by an easy clearance at 2.25m.
"Truthfully it really hasn't sunk in yet that I am a national champion," quotes Nebraska's team webpage.
"Right now it just feels like I've set a new PR at any regular meet. Coming in, I knew I had a chance and both Coach Pepin (Gary Pepin) and Nic (volunteer coach Nic Petersen) said they knew I had what it was going to take today to win.
"The strange thing is I think I am happier that I cleared 7-7. Hopefully over the next few days it will set in that I'm a national champion."
(NCAA Record: 2.37m, Hollis Conway, Louisiana-Lafayette, 1989)
2008 Leaders: 1. Sellers, Kansas State, 2.29m; 2. Jonas, Nebraska, 2.26m; 3. Diggs, Houston, 2.22m; Wright, California, 2.22m
(2007 Gold: Donald Thomas,
, 2.33m; Silver: Dusty Jones, Auburn , 2.25m; Bronze: Scott Sellers, 2.22m) Nebraska
17.00 Women's Pole Vault FinalGold: Ellie Rudy, Montana State, 4.30m; Silver: April Kubishta, Arizona State, 4.30m; Bronze: Kate Sultanova, Kansas, 4.25m
Montana State's Ellie Rudy had only one miss through four jumps leading up to 4.30m in the pole vault, and took her second-consecutive national indoor title, clearing the same height she won at in 2007.
Arizona State's April Kubishta also cleared 4.30m, but won the silver on misses.Rudy followed nearly the same path as her 2007 mark, clearing the same height as the runner-up, but she was able to save herself from jump-offs when Kubishta missed once at 4.10m.
Rudy's accomplishment is only the second individual national championship Montana State University has collected in indoor track following her 2007 title.
“I’m a little tired and have a cold, but I feel great,” Rudy said on the Montana State athletics site.
“I am so excited that I won clean this time—no jump-off. I wanted to win by clearing a higher mark, but I’m happy with a clean win. I’m glad we didn’t have a jump off because my wrists were starting to hurt,” Rudy added.(NCAA Record: 4.53m, Amy Linnen,
, 2002) Arizona
2008 Leaders: 1. Rudy, Montana St., 4.30m; 2. Sultanova, Kansas, 4.30m; 3. Kubishta, Arizona St., 4.30m
State, 4.30m; Silver: Natalie Moser, Elouise Rudy, Montana , 4.30m; Bronze: Kate Sultanova, Florida , 4.30m) Kansas
17.30 Men's Triple Jump Pre / Final
Gold: Nkosinza Balumbu, Arkansas, 16.54m; Silver: Tydree Lewis, Oklahoma, 16.52m; Bronze: Jonathan Jackson, Texas Christian, 16.32m
Host Arkansas, struggling in the distance races, got a huge reprieve when team captain Nkosinza Balumbu, third on the national list, came through with a victorious jump of 16.54m to open up the second flight.
Oklahoma's Tydree Lewis was the class of the first round, taking the lead on his first attempt and extending it to a very impressive 16.52m on his final attempt, leaving Balumbu with an exact expectation of how his evening was to play out - and which mark would be relevant to surpass to win his first national title and give Arkansas needful points in the team race.
Balumba, who became the Razorback's 15th NCAA Indoor triple jump champion, was fortunate to get his winning mark and personal best out of the way early, as the rest of his series did not produce a jump which would have placed him in the top-two medal spots.
Balumba's series: 16.54m, 16.30m, 16.09m, 16.02m, Foul, Foul.
“It feels great to win my first national title,” Balumbu said on the Arkansas Razorback website.
“I feel like the Lion King right now. I feel like Simba going up and taking over Pride Rock and looking down at his territory. I feel like I just put my stamp on the triple jump right now and I don’t want to look back. I want to keep it going and win Nationals from now on until I graduate.”
(NCAA Record: 17.50m, Charles Simpkins, Baptist University, 1986)
2008 Leaders: 1. Boutte, Oklahoma, 16.48m; 2. Grinnell, Boise State, 16.40m; 3. Balumbu, Arkansas, 16.30m
(2007 Gold: Andre Black, 16.29m; Silver: Muhammad Halim, Cornell, 16.24m; Bronze:
, 16.19m) Nkosinza Balumbu, Arkansas
18.15 Men's Mile Run Final
Gold: Leonel Manzano, Texas, 4.04,45; Silver: Jake Morse, Texas, 4.04,88; Bronze: Andrew Acosta, Oregon, 4.04,90
Oregon's Andrew Acosta, who broke legendary Steve Prefontaine's school record last week in Washington with a national-leading 3.58,52, took the early lead in Saturday's race, splitting 31,83 and 31,14 (1.02,97) the first two laps of the eight-lap race.
Manzano took over the lead on the third lap (31,13/1.34,18), and brought the tightly-bunched field of 11 - separated by 0,66 seconds - through the fourth lap in 2.05,58.
Manzano continued biding his time through the 1.000m mark - reached in 2.36,67, with Acosta (2.36,72) and Nebraska's Peter van der Westhuizen (2.36,88) closest.
Manzano held his lead up through the final lap, which he covered in 27,00, stopping the clock at 4.04,45. Teammate Morse was second in 4.04,88, with Acosta improving to third (4.04,90).
Stanford's Garrett Heath nearly kept the same finishing round as did Manzano, running the final circuit in 27,04 seconds, but it was not enough to propel him to the victory stand despite entering the race with the second-fastest time in the nation (3.58,71).
(NCAA Record: 3.55,0h, Tony Waldorp, North Carolina, 1974)
2008 Leaders: 1. Bumbalough,
, 3.58,46; 2. Georgetown , 3.58,52; 3. Heath, Stanford, 3.58,71 Acosta, Oregon
, 3.59,90; Silver: Russell Brown, Stanford, 4.00,84; Bronze: Stephen Pifer, Leonel Manzano, Texas , 4.00,93) Colorado
18.25 Women's Mile Run Final
Gold: Hannah England, Florida State, 4.35,30; Silver: Nicole Edwards, Michigan, 4.35,74; Bronze: Sarah Bowman, Tennessee, 4.36,00
Florida State sophomore Hannah England won a three-woman race to the finish line Saturday, topping national leader Nicole Edwards and Tennessee's Sarah Bowman, who anchored her Distance Medley team to victory on Friday with a 4.35,3.
England's winning time of 4.35,30 moved her from fifth to second on the leader board, and, most importantly, gave the Seminole the first NCAA title of her young collegiate career.
Wisconsin's Ann Detmer held the early lead, towing the field through modest 35,20 and 33,81 (1.09,01) segments, with Bowman (1.09,29) leading Edwards (1.09,53) and England (1.09,76) as the three kept an eye on each other in the early stage of the race.
Detmer kept things in check through the 800m mark, leading the field through at 2.19,16 - a mark not incredibly fast, but one which would force the kickers behind her to begin planning their moves with four laps remaining as the order behind her with Bowman, Edwards and England hadn't changed at this stage in the race.
Detmer was able to maintain her pacing chores through the 1.000m mark in the race until Bowman pulled even with her and passed her on the following lap segment, taking her first lead of the evening and leaving her exposed to Edwards and England, who were watching her moves from behind.
England, the fifth-place finisher in the 1.500m at the 2007 U-23 competition, pounced on the opportunity to kick past her rivals on the final lap, covering the split in 29,99 seconds to best the kicks of Edwards (30,67) and Bowman (31,15), and won in a lifetime best of 4.35,30
(NCAA Record: 4.28,31, Vicky Huber, Villanova, 1988)
2008 Leaders: 1. Edwards,
, 4.33,23; 2. Michigan Tech, 4.36,31; 3. Kipyego, Texas Kuijken, Fla St., 4.36,31
(2007 Gold: Shannon Rowbury, Duke, 4.42,17; Silver: Allie Bohannon, UCLA, 4.43,36; Bronze: Nicole Edwards,
, 4.44,89) Michigan
18.30 Women's Triple Jump Pre / Final
Gold: Erica McLain, Stanford, 14.20m; Silver: Kimberly Williams, Florida State, 13.82m; Bronze: Karoline Koehler, San Diego State, 13.62m
Stanford senior Erica McLain, the reigning NCAA indoor champion (13.91m) defended her crown in fine style, winning with a leap of 14.20m - a mark only 3cm short of Sheila Hudson's American record, and 5cm short of the 11-year-old collegiate record set by LSU's Suzette Lee in 1997.
Kimberly Williams improved on her seasonal best by 10cm to finish second with a jump of 13.82m. Karoline Koehler, who had the 13th-best mark in the nation heading into the week-end, finished with the bronze medal, leaping 13.62m.
McLain had only two good jumps on the afternoon, setting the pace with her 14.20m first-round jump, and following it up with a 13.89m fourth-round attempt.
(NCAA Record: 14.25m, Suzette Lee, LSU, 1997)
2008 Leaders: 1. Williams,
Fla St., 13.72m; 2. McLain, Stanford, 13.71m; 3. Okagbare, UTEP, 13.64m
(2007 Gold: Erica McLain, Stanford, 13.91m; Silver: Yvette Lewis,
, 13.61m; Bronze: Michelle Vaughn, Hampton , 13.21m) Auburn
18.35 Men's 800-meter Run Final
Gold: Tyler Mulder, Northern Iowa, 1.49,20; Silver: Elkana Kosgei, LSU, 1.49,47; Bronze: Ross Ridgewell, Georgia, 1.49,52
With Texas Longhorn Jacob Hernandez disqualified the previous evening for a lane violation, Oral Roberts' Shaun Smith appeared to be the favourite on paper, having run 1.47,28 this season.
Smith was unable to capitalise on the sluggish 53,11 opening 400m Miami's Tim Harris brought the field through, and never appeard in the race when the kicking began with one lap remaining (600m covered in 1.21,28 by LSU's Rueben Twijukye).
Georgia's Ross Widgewell had the best finishing last lap, running 27,47, a mark which was good enough to propel the Bulldog into the bronze medal spot.
Northern Iowa's Tyler Mulder, the sixth-fastest 800m runner heading into the championships (1.48,17), won in 1.49,20, with Elkana Kosgei - LSU's second 800m entrant in the final - taking the silver medal (1.49,47).
Mulder became the third Northern Iowa athlete to win a national indoor title in school history.
"That was an extremely smart race that Tyler ran to win the 800," UNI head coach Chris Bucknam said.
"He had a lot left at the end, and he couldn't have run it better. That's a racer's race, because it's fast, it's tight and you're really fighting it out in a big group. For him to run as well and as smart as he did, it truly exemplifies the great season he's had."
(NCAA Record: 1.44,84, Paul Ereng, Virginia, 1989)
2008 Leaders: 1. Koech, UTEP, 1.46,77; 2. Smith, Oral Roberts, 1.47,28; 3. Mach, C. Michigan, 1.47,33
(2007 Gold: Ryan Brown,
, 1.48,40; Silver: Andrew Ellerton, Washington , 1.48,55; Bronze: Kyle Smith, Michigan Northern Iowa, 1.49,09)
18.45 Women's 800-meter Run Final
Gold: LaTavia Thomas, LSU, 2.05,07; Silver: Heather Dorniden, Minnesota, 2.05,45; Bronze: Alysia Johnson, CAL, 2.05,47
LSU's LaTavia Thomas made the women's 800m a personal 1-2 race between defending champion Alysia Johnson of CAL, and herself, sitting in third the first two laps of the race with Johnson in clear view as the race unfolded with Johnson splitting 29,19 and 1.01,52 at the 200m and 400m markers, respectively.
Pennsylvania's Jesse Carlin propelled herself to the front position on the next lap, clocking 33,27 for her segment and towing the field through 600m in 1.33,94.
Johnson ran second in 1.34,08, with Thomas a click back in 1.34,23.Thomas surged incredibly well on the final lap, sprinting off the curve to stop the clock at 2.05,07 following a 30,85 closing lap.
Minnesota's Heather Dorniden, fifth on the yearly indoor lists at 2.05,05, won the silver in 2.05,45 after a solid closing lap in 30,97, which was just off of the pace Thomas set the final time around the track.
Johnson had to settle for third, running 2.05,47 after getting nabbed at the line by Dorniden.
“I thought LaTavia really had a breakout performance at this meet,” Dennis Shaver said.
“She’s a tremendous competitor, and I thought she ran a very smart race today. It’s not about how fast you run but who crosses the finish line first at the championship meets, and she understood that. She got out and ran a great race to beat some really talented half-milers and the defending champion.”
(NCAA Record: 2.00,75, Nicole Cook,
, 2005) Tennessee
2008 Leaders: 1. Gall,
, 2.03,37; 2. Michigan , 2.03,39; 3. Thomas, LSU, 2.04,66 Johnson, California
, 2.03,47; Silver: Rebekah Noble, Alysia Johnson, California , 2.04,70; Bronze: Heather Dorniden, Oregon , 2.04,87) Minnesota
18.55 Men's 400-meter Dash Final
Gold: Andretti Bain, Oral Roberts, 46,19; Silver: Jordan Boase, Washington, 46,34; Bronze: Calvin Smith, Florida, 46,44
Calvin Smith (Florida) may have cost himself the NCAA title after opening the race in 21,49 seconds - a time which is only a half-second from his indoor best at 200m (20,98), but the sophomore gave his best effort in helping drag along eventual winner Andretti Bain (46,19) and silver medallist Jordan Boase (46,34).
Bain's winning mark was his third-fastest of the season, trailing only the school record of 46,02 he set in the preliminary round, and the 46,13 he posted on 16-February.
Bain's victory made him ORU's first-ever NCAA indoor champion.
Smith finished with a time of 46,44 after completing his second lap in 24,96 seconds. Smith's lifetime best of 46,05 was set at last year's SEC Indoor Championships.
(NCAA Record: 44,57, Kerron Clement,
, 2005) Florida
2008 Leaders: 1.
, 45,94; 2. Smith, Gaymon, Georgia , 46,04; 3. Bain, Oral Roberts, 46,13 Florida
(2007 Gold: Ricardo Chambers,
, 45,65; Silver: Aaron Buzard, Florida State , 45,86; Bronze: Quentin Summers, Baylor, 46,07) Minnesota
19.05 Women's 400-meter Dash Final
Gold: Krista Simkins, Miami, 52,16; Silver: Trish Bartholomew, Alabama, 52,37; Bronze: Jessica Beard, Texas A&M, 52,48
Krista Simkins' NCAA weekend ended in a flash, as the junior from Miami University followed up her school record (51,95) run set in the semi-final run with her first NCAA title.
Alabama's Trish Bartholomew attempted to break for the pole first with a lap to go, but was 0,01 seconds down on Simkins as the pair enterd the backstretch.
Simkins closed out her second lap in 27,80, with Texas A&M freshman Jessica Beard - making her first NCAA appearance, closing out fastest in 27,71 to finish with the bronze and a new personal record.
Penn State's Shana Cox won the first flight in 52,57, a time which was good enough for fourth overall.
(NCAA Record: 50,80, Natasha
, 2007) Hastings, South Carolina
2008 Leaders: 1.
, 52,10; 2. Cross, Bartholomew, Alabama S. Carolina, 52,12; 3. , 52,32 Martin, Kentucky
(2007 Gold: Natasha Hastings,
, 50,80; South Carolina , 51,48; Bronze: Ashlee Kidd, Georgia Tech, 51,96) Kineke Alexander, Iowa
19.15 Men's 60-meter Dash Final
Gold: Richard Thompson, LSU, 6,51; Silver: Trendon Holliday, LSU, 6,54; Bronze: Travis Padget, Clemson, 6,60
LSU's Richard Thompson and Trendon Holliday had two of the three fastest times in the nation this year entering the meet, and showcased their superior speed in the final, with Thompson, a senior, blasting from 0-to-60m in 6,51 seconds to equal IAAF World Indoor Champion Olusoji Fasuba of Nigeria as the fastest in the world this year.
“That was an awesome display of sprinting by our kids in the 60,” Shaver said to LSU Sports.
“I knew in the warm-up area that Richard and Trindon were going to go 1-2 in the final. They showed up ready to compete and got the job done. I thought they handled the pressure of being the favorites very well and showed just what kind of competitors they are by going 1-2."
Thompson, who competed for his native Trinidad at the 2007 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in the 100m, broke his own school record of 6,57 in the semi-finals and tied the new record in the final.
(NCAA Record: 6,45, Leonard Myles-Mills, BYU, 1999)
2008 Leaders: 1. Thompson, LSU, 6,57; 2. Spiller, Clemson, 6,58; 3. Holliday, LSU, 6,60
(2007 Gold: Travis Padgett, Clemson, 6,56; Silver:
, 6,57; Bronze: Jacoby Ford, Clemson, 6,60) Demi Omole, Wisconsin
19.25 Women's 60-meter Dash Final
Gold: Kelly-Ann Baptiste, LSU, 7.17; Silver: Alexandria Anderson, Texas, 7,17; Bronze: Bianca Knight, Texas, 7,21Kelly-Ann Baptiste's victory, which came approximately 10 minutes after Thompson's feat, marked the first time in NCAA history that athletes from the same school had won both the men's and women's 60m dashes.
Baptiste, the 2008 leader (7,13) entering the finals, fought valiantly to secure the victory against Anderson and world junior record-holder and 200m titlist, Bianca Knight.
Baptiste - who had an injury-riddled 2007 outdoor season, and Anderson were separated by a mere 0,006 at the finish tape, with Knight running a superb 7,21 to sneak past Anderson's previous best this season, and, as Anderson, claim her second sprint medal this week-end.
"I’m also very proud of Kelly Ann (Baptiste) for what she did," Shaver also stated to LSU Sports."She’s won a lot of All-America honors and scored a lot of points for us in the past, but this is the first time she’s ever won an individual title at the NCAA meet. She stepped it up big for us in her last appearance at this meet.”
(NCAA Record: 7,09, Angela Williams, USC, 2001)
2008 Leaders: 1. Baptiste, LSU, 7,13; 2. Henry, LSU, 7,18; 3. Anderson, Texas, 7,22; 3. Anderson, Kansas, 7,22; 3. Asumnu, Tulane, 7,22
(2007 Gold: Kerron Sterart,
, 7,15; Silver: Courtney Champion, Auburn , 7,19; Bronze: Kelly-Ann Baptiste, LSU, 7,27) Tennessee
19.35 Men's 3,000-meter Run Final
Gold: Kyle Alcorn, Arizona State, 8.00,82; Silver: Andrew Bumbalough, Georgetown, 8.02,22; Bronze: Kyle Perry, BYU, 8.02,63
Alcorn loves to kick down his opponents - he has been doing it ever since high school when he won the CIF California State 3.200m title his junior year whilst a student at Buchanan (Clovis) High School six years ago.
The University of Oregon transfer has been playing in a different league at the NCAA level, however, and had not found any success indoors in his two previous years under the lights and on the short tracks.
A move to Arizona State University and a new perspective have changed Alcorn's fortunes considerably, with the redshirt senior capturing his first-ever NCAA title of any kind - indoors or outdoors - with a very fine 2.26,39 closing 1.000m split to fend off challenges from Andrew Bumbalough (8.02,22) and stave off the rest of the competition - including Villanova's Robert Curtis (fourth in 8.02,79) and Liberty University's Josh McDougal (sixth in 8.03,77).
Alcorn, who has improved his mile time to 3.59,82, has added speed to his CV, and has adapted that to drawing out fields with his kick.
"It was a great race with a quick tempo. I made a move early to get to the front because I wanted to control the pace," Alcorn said.
"I like to be able and rely on my kick and that was what got me the victory today. I didn't find out until after the race that my victory was going to give us a tie for the lead so that is a great feeling."
Alcorn's chances at gold looked very slim at the outset of the race, as the 8.35 steepler held only the 14th fastest time of the 16 competitors in the field - though seven athletes were seeded between 7.55,41 and 7.56,03.Alcorn opened the race with a split of 2.45,08 the first 1.000m and followed it up with a 2.49,36 as the pace settled and the race horses began calculating how much energy to expend on their kicks.
Alcorn wasted no time with the field with two laps remaining - 400m, and began his acceleration phase home to the last lap, where he opened up a gap on Bumbalough, the yearly mile leader at 3.58,46.
(NCAA Record: 7.38,59, Alistair Cragg,
, 2004) Arkansas
2008 Leaders: 1. Curtis, Villanova, 7.50,17; 2. McNeill,
N. Arizona, 7.50,37; 3. Perry, BYU, 7.51,20
(2007 Gold: Lopez Lemong,
Northern Arizona, 7.49,74; Silver: Chris Solinsky, , 7.51,69; Bronze: Josh McDougal, Wisconsin , 7.55,40) Liberty
19.50 Women's 3,000-meter Run Final
Gold: Susan Kuijken, Florida State, 8.58,14; Silver: Brie Felnagle, North Carolina, 9.00,31; Bronze: Arianna Lambie, Stanford, 9.05,41
Stanford's Arianna Lambie, a redshirt senior, lined up for the 3.000m final after giving a gutsy performance - and the race's fastest 1.600m split - in the Distance Medly on Friday.
Lambie, a 9.00,60 runner, was aiming to win her first national indoor title after placing third the previous two seasons.
Lambie's chances increased exponentially when Sally Kipyego withdrew from the event, but Florida State's Susan Kuijken, who had run a 4.36,31 mile two weeks ago to go along with her season's best 9.08,75 at the 3.000m, had other plans for the Cardinal.
Lambie assumed the early lead in the race, and made the pace hurt for those unable to keep on course with a 9-flat finish, hitting the 1.000m marker in a brisk - yet managable 2.58,65. Kuijken followed suit with a 2.58,89, with North Carolina's Brie Felnagle (2.59,15) also holding on to the lead group.
Lambie continued easily through the 2nd kilometre, covered at a very respectable 5.59,22, with Kuijken and Felnagle right on her heels and completely separate from the second pack.
"When Sally (Kipyego) scratched I knew (Arianna) Lambie would take it out and I'd have to watch for Brie Felnagle," Kuijken said.
"In the end when the three of us were left I knew I could beat Lambie because I had the kick but I knew I had to give it my all and try to lose Felnagle. When I came around to the last turn I looked at the screen and saw she was fading and that was it.
"It feels great. I always thought that indoors wasn't necessarily as important as outdoors, but a national championship is a national championship. It feels great to win."
Kuijken used a superb kick to notch a sub-3.00 final segment, splitting 2.58,68 to bring home her first national title and lower her personal best - and school record - by roughly 10 seconds.
Felnagle, who dropped nine seconds from her yearly best, finished two seconds back of Kuijken's kick, running 9.00,31 (3.00,65 closing mark), with Lambie, contesting her final NCAA Indoor championships, once again finishing third (9.05,41).
(NCAA Record: 8.49,18, Kim Smith,
, 2004) Providence
2008 Leaders: 1. Lambie, Stanford, 9.05,32; 2. Blood,
, 9.08,44; 3. Oregon Kuijken, Fla St., 9.08,75
(2007 Gold: Sally
Tech, 9.02,05; Silver: Shannon Rowbury, Duke, 9.02,73; Bronze: Arianna Lambie, Stanford, 9.04,81) Kipyego, Texas
20.05 Men's 1,600-meter Relay Final
Gold: Baylor, 3.05,66; Silver: Texas Christian, 3.06,19; Bronze: Arizona State, 3.06,34
(NCAA Record: 3.03,51,
(Clark, Middleton, Pastor, Clement), 2005) Florida
2008 Leaders: 1.
(Anderson, Phillips, Middleton, Smith), 3.06,48; 2. Florida (Gordon, Elston, Kremer, Phillip) 3.06,58; 3. Arizona State A&M (Oliver, Dykes, Robinson, Robinson), 3.06,68 Texas
(2007 Gold: Baylor (Witherspoon, Betters, Mutai, Summers), 3.04,24; Silver:
(Harrison, Browning, Acevedo, Luna), 3.06,34; Bronze: Kentucky (Hinnant, Hilliard, Miley, South Carolina ), 3.06,93) Moore
20.20 Women's 1,600-meter Relay Final
Gold: LSU, 3.31,14; Silver: Texas A&M 3.31,34; Bronze: Arizona State, 3.33.63
(NCAA Record: 3.27,66, Texas (Downer, McIntosh, Robinson, Richards), 2003
2008 Leaders: 1. LSU (Morris, Wilson, Thomas, Lawrence), 3.31,89; 2.
, (Cantey, Giles, Cross, Byrd), 3.33,34; 3. South Carolina A&M (Wooten, Williams, Facey, Beard) 3.34,61 Texas
(Smith, Cantey, Cross, South Carolina ), 3.29,57; Silver: Hastings A&M (Henry, Williams, Wooten, Baker), 3.29,93; LSU (Morris, Texas , Rooks, Wilson ), 3.30,26) Lawrence